Transportation in Japan is expensive. I guess the biking in Anime series is the really practical choice of getting around. The buses and metro tickets are relatively expensive compared to Philippine and other developing Asian countries. The 7-day Japan Railpass costs like a trip to Hongkong. Scream now. Brutally expensive. But that is Japan. Besides, what is a Japan experience without trying the Shinkansen (bullet train)?
|Pricey piece of paper|
Time to hit Kyoto. First, I had to find my way from Asakusa to JR Tokyo station. Did that by just asking the staff of Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki. It was quite easy, even with my luggage in tow. The metro stations have working lifts and escalators.
I entered the manned gate of the JR Tokyo station after showing them my valid JR Railpass. Tokyo Station was like an airport. I didn’t get to take a lot of pics as I was busy navigating my way to Toikaido Shinkansen tracks.
You can only use the Japan Railpass for Hikari and Kodama trains. The pass is not valid on Nozomi trains, which is the fastest type of Shinkansen. When checking schedules, exclude the Nozomi trains. I checked the schedule the night before using Hyperdia. I boarded the unreserved cart if the Hikari train, and chose my seat for the next three hours. The unreserved carts are shown in the schedule. More info here:
Switch your mobile phone to silent. For some reason, Japanese consider talking calls in trains rude.
Although it is possible to reserve a seat for free, I figured that Tokyo was the first stop anyway so I’ll have a good chance of getting a vacant window seat.
Please fall in line. Nakakahiya naman sumingit.
My luggage fit easily in front of me, and I was still quite comfortable. Not the same if you are quite huge – but I think Asians would easily fit in the seats with a medium-sized luggage. The seat space is much bigger than the seat of an economy plane. You can also leave your luggage in the overhead shelves (no cabinets) if they fit. There is a space at the back part of the last seats but it can only fit two luggages.
I spent the next two hours listening to the Anime playlist in my Ipod. Lots of urban cities that rolled by my window.
I didn’t try to use the toilet because I didn’t want to bother the Japanese businessman seated beside me. At first, he ate his bento box containing his lunch, then opened his laptop. I munched on my snacks, I’ll grab my lunch when I’m settled in Kyoto. After almost three hours, the train stopped in Kyoto.
Kyoto, here I come.